The cultural significance of the white-tailed deer and other members of the Cervidae family (moose, elk, reindeer, etc.) is truly impressive. Think about their impact on movies, TV and literature. I don't know about you, but Rudolph, Bambi and Bullwinkle were all part of my childhood. And watching The Yearling is enough to make even a marine cry.
I'm sure many of you have a favorite sighting that you enjoy talking about, too. My wife witnessed a herd of elk trotting by as she was waiting for me to emerge from a restroom at Yellowstone (I've never regretted a restroom stop so much, since it robbed me of sharing in the experience). My own favorite sighting is probably the mother moose and baby I spotted at the aptly named "Moosehead Lake" in Maine.
Be all that as it may, gardeners generally don't roll out the welcome mat for deer. And with good reason: deer damage to plants means major damage, because we're talking about a large animal here! So how do you avoid such damage? You have three basic choices. You can:
- Fence deer out, or...
- Drive deer away (using repellents, dogs, etc.), or...
- Present deer with a disappointing menu when they do arrive
It's #3 that I deal with in my article on deer-resistant plants. The article breaks down the subject by plant type (deer-resistant shrubs, deer-resistant perennials, etc.).
Read article: Deer-Resistant Plant List
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Photo ©2007 David Beaulieu (licensed to About, Inc.)